Hapgood gives more info about Algona closing
by Amy H. Peterson
Col. Greg Hapgood answered a few more questions for the Estherville News, based on concerns for the future of the Estherville Armory and other area units.
EN:?Have driving distances and logistical factors had an impact on the number of guard members who stay in??
Col. Hapgood:?The vast majority of the 90 soldiers assigned to Battery B, 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery in Algona live outside of Kossuth County and many of the soldiers’ drive times will actually be shortened by moving the unit to Camp Dodge. Only one of the unit members has a home address in Algona, and just five of the unit members have a home address in Kossuth County. Driving distances and logistical factors generally have a minor effect on a soldier’s decision to continue their service upon expiration of their enlistment contract, particularly in today’s mobile society. Probably the most important criterion regarding whether or not someone stays in the Iowa National Guard is the support from their family, loved ones, and civilian employer with regard to an individual’s military service.
EN:?Does consolidation of units create redundancy such that mid-to-upper enlisted personnel do not move with the units in which they were once leaders?
Col. Hapgood:?Generally our men and women will remain with their unit of assignment if the unit physically moves to another location, therefore maintaining the current rank and force structure of that unit. Soldiers will most often seek out other units if they have a better opportunity for a specific Military Occupational Specialty (“MOS” or job) or if they can position themselves for promotion by transferring to another unit.
In the Thursday, Nov. 3 edition of the Estherville News, Col. Hapgood said there is not a long-term plan for base closings or unit consolidation, but that regional public information officers announce the changes as soon as they are received.